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Tuesday 22 November 2016
In yet another development in an already eventful deployment, US Navy sailors aboard the USS Nitze rescued three stranded Iranians in the Arabian Gulf on Friday.
The Iranians made a distress call after their boat stalled. US Sailors responded quickly, providing a case of water and a new battery for the vessel.
“Our Sailors are trained to respond quickly to those in distress at sea,” said Cmdr. Paul Kaylor, commanding officer of Nitze said in a US Navy statement. “We are proud to have assisted in this situation.”
Interactions with Iranians in the Arabian Gulf have not always been positive.
The USS Nitze specifically has been the target of “harassing” and swarming behaviour like simulated attacks while sailing off Iran’s coast.
Last month, Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen fired missiles towards US Navy ships, including the Nitze. In response, the Nitze fired Tomahawk cruise missiles, destroying the radar sites used by the militants to target the US ships. Experts and US military officials attribute blame to Iran over the incident.
Additionally, when US Navy sailors found their boat inoperable in Iranian waters last January, Iranian navy vessels surrounded them and captured them at gunpoint. Iranian state TV then broadcast footage and images of the captured sailors for some time as propaganda. Iran apparently plans to build a monument of the event.
After the October incident, Iranian ships reportedly went to the Arabian Gulf. However, they were nowhere to be found when their countrymen were stranded at sea on Friday.